Creepy guy follows you home

Discuss those "what if" or "what would you do" scenarios you've been wondering about.

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Creepy guy follows you home

Post by tenhigh » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:35 pm

I was on the bus this morning, and I heard a high-school age girl talk about what happened to her yesterday. Apparently, she saw a dubious looking guy on the bus. No big deal, really, it's the Phoenix area bus system, there's odd people on it all the time. However, when she got off the bus, the guy followed her off of the bus and kept walking behind her about 20 ft back. She got creeped out and went to her neighbor's house instead of her own, and watched him from the window as he paced outside for about an hour on a deserted street, and eventually went away.

My question is, if you were in her situation, what would you do?
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Molon Labe » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:40 pm

And why did she not call the Police??? If she was safe inside and he was waiting for her, then WTF?
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by tjack316 » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:42 pm

no shit he paces out front for 20 mins ??? She should have called the cops the minute she walk in her neighbors house .

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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by bonanacrom » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:56 pm

I'd be very unhappy because I would have made one hell of an ugly high school girl ! Now if one of my nieces called me and told me that I'd tell her to call the cops and I'd head over,if I got there first I would have her also call an ambulance.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by MosinMe » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:09 pm

If a strange man started to stalk me, actually followed me home, and proceeded to pace outside my house...

I would bust out the MilSurps and get ready to excercise my castle doctrine. :P

And of course' call 911 before doing so. :wink:
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Rvn » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:17 pm

I would have done pretty much the same thing, except called the police as soon as I got inside.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Y.T. » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:20 pm

Molon Labe wrote:And why did she not call the Police??? If she was safe inside and he was waiting for her, then WTF?
probably because she's only a teenager so she was too freaked out to think clearly, plus doesn't have the life experience to know procedure. At that age you can tend to think "911 is only for fires and when someone is breaking into my house, this isn't really an emergency, per se." What I think is more questionable is why didn't the neighbor, an adult, call the police. And why didn't her parents, also adults, teach their daughter how to properly deal with shit like that?


edit: clarity
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by tenhigh » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:27 pm

As to why she didn't call the cops, I have no idea. She said that her neighbor was not home, but she knew the garage combination, so she went into her neighbor's house instead of her own. When she was telling the story, the bus driver overheard and asked if she'd called the police. She said "no" in the tone you'd reply to someone who asks you if you'd smoked crack in the last 3 hours.

Personally, once he'd stopped outside of the house and started pacing, I'd have prepared for him to meet Mr. Remington's finest if he decided to break in, and called 911 immediately. I just heard this, and wondered how ZS would respond.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by SMoAF » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:36 pm

Don't go home, period. Find a place with other people in it (say, a convenience store or gas station), and call the cops from there.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by by-the-throat » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:06 am

SMoAF wrote:Don't go home, period. Find a place with other people in it (say, a convenience store or gas station), and call the cops from there.
I agree with this-it seems like it would be a bad idea to let someone know where you live before you call the cops on them. Even if they put the guy away for the maximum (and there is the possibility he won't go away at all) eventually he could get out and be really pissed.

Public places would generally work better for this, if you can get over the embarrassment-not always easy for someone at that awkward stage of life to do.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Lord-Reaper » Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:32 am

I would have gone inside and opened the front window. A pump shotgun makes a very distinct noise and I want to make sure he hears it. :twisted:
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Towanda » Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:53 am

Well...not leading the guy to her house was smart. Going into her neighbor's house when the neighbor wasn't home was not quite so smart IF she knew beforehand that the neighbor would not be home. Was she dropped off in an area with gas stations and convenience stores, or was it mostly residential?

First - head for a public place, if there is one.
Second - go to the house of a neighbor WHO IS HOME, ring the bell, and say, "Hi. I live up the road. My parents aren't home and a weird guy from the bus is following me. Can I come in and wait and would you please call the police?"

The suburban neighborhood where I grew up had no convenience stores or gas stations close by. However, there was a block-parent program, so any kid who needed an adult could go to any house showing a block-parent window sign and get help. There was also a church three blocks from my house, so I could have run there if all else failed.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Brash » Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:15 am

What would I do? Turn an confront him in the street before I even got home.

"Are you fucking following me!?"

I've done it and the guy mumbled an excuse and got real interested in his shoes and then wandered off back the way he came. It was probably nothing but I don't feel bad about it. It felt like he was following me enough to put my back up and I've been right before. I noticed some guy following me at night on my way home from work in Cwmbran. I crossed the street and he followed so I let him get a bit closer and then took off running around a corner down towards the canal. Then I stopped and waited. Sure enough he came running right after me and was a bit surprised to see me standing there looking right at him. I asked what he wanted and mumbled something about the time then left te way he came.

Probably not a good idea for a teenage girl to try that shit though. If I was her then yeah, look for people and call the cops. Even if it's nothing they won't mind getting called out for something like that.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Chantrea » Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:26 pm

Well, if she were my daughter I would praise her for following her (very good) instincts.

And then I'd supplement with telling her that it's appropriate to call 911 during a situation like this, to protect both herself and (according to our family's beliefs) her obligation to protect other people as well when there's someone who may be a danger to them.

If I were the observer overhearing her, I'd do the same, but leave out the obligation moralizing, since she's not my kid and it's not my place.

If it were ME as I am now, I would turn, look them in the eye, and start calling 911, and give the description of them while walking towards a public space, and staying on the line until I got there and/or the operator told me to hang up.

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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Coyotes Brother » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:19 pm

OK, so a guy gets off a bus, walks down the street, and then for some reason not fathomable to a teenager, paces the block for a while, and the reaction is... break out the shotguns and call the cops! Damn, I hope I never get off the bus at the same stop as y'all. :roll:

Maybe that guy got off the bus because it was his stop, too, and when he arrived at his destination, he found out his friends/relatives weren't home, so he hung around for a bit waiting for them?
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Lionheart » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:35 pm

I would proceed to put the man in an armbar while simultaneously yelling at the man WHO SENT YOU!!! :P No but on a serious note I would have called the cops immediately that man obviously had malicious intent if he waited that long for her.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Y.T. » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:39 pm

Coyotes Brother wrote:Maybe that guy got off the bus because it was his stop, too, and when he arrived at his destination, he found out his friends/relatives weren't home, so he hung around for a bit waiting for them?
uh... yeah. sure. and I bet he then had plans to read to the blind and feed orphans. Seriously, please let us know what fantasy utopia you live in so the rest of us can move there too. ;)

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edit: typo... moVe not moRe
Last edited by Y.T. on Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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...4 words for you: deaf. amish. zombie killer.
...3 more words: machine. gun. leg.

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(yes, it qualifies as a zombie movie)
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Y.T. » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:00 pm

Chantrea wrote:I would praise her for following her (very good) instincts.
I don't know about that. Her only instinct was to not go to her own house. How did it really help her to go sit and freak out in an empty neighbor's house rather than her own empty house? (edit: correction, she also had the instinct to recognize something was "off" with the guy, which is important.)

This put her in just as much risk, only in a different box. The neighbor's empty house didn't offer her any extra safety or protection at the time. She still had no one to give her assistance should the guy try to force entry or come to the door/window, which he could have done. She didn't notify anyone that she was being followed. She didn't stop into any local businesses on her way home to ask for assistance. She didn't take advantage of a well-lighted or populated place to turn and loudly confront him, which not only notifies those around her that something is wrong but will sometimes scare such guys off. She didn't stop at any other houses where someone was clearly home and ask for help or at least use that to stall to see what the guy was doing. She didn't note down the guy's description and details of the event. She didn't call the police during the event. She didn't report the event afterward. It doesn't sound like she's changing her route or preparations, or investigating things such as self-defense, as a result of the event.

The only benefit was that the creepshow doesn't know her exact address, but he still knows where she lives within probably 2 houses. And worse, she's now put her neighbors at risk should this guy decide to return. If I were in the neighbor's position I'd feel a little like, glad you're ok, but gee thanks so much for giving this guy a reason to try to break into our home or worse.

Realistically, I wouldn't expect a teenage girl to intuitively know how to handle that the right way, so I'm not ragging on her. But I also wouldn't consider her actions to be an example of good instincts or a victory. There were a lot of things she could have done, as mentioned above.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Coyotes Brother » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:16 pm

Y.T. wrote:
Coyotes Brother wrote:Maybe that guy got off the bus because it was his stop, too, and when he arrived at his destination, he found out his friends/relatives weren't home, so he hung around for a bit waiting for them?
uh... yeah. sure. and I bet he then had plans to read to the blind and feed orphans. Seriously, please let us know what fantasy utopia you live in so the rest of us can more there. ;)

*hands Coyotes Brother an enormous clue*
There's nothing in the OP to suggest that the guy even paid a second's thought to the teenager. Did you get a more detailed version of the story, or are you imagining details that aren't there?
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...4 words for you: deaf. amish. zombie killer.
...3 more words: machine. gun. leg.

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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Y.T. » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:25 pm

Coyotes Brother wrote:There's nothing in the OP to suggest that the guy even paid a second's thought to the teenager. Did you get a more detailed version of the story, or are you imagining details that aren't there?
To recap:
  • tenhigh wrote:Post subject: Creepy guy follows you home

    dubious looking guy
    he guy followed her off of the bus
    kept walking behind her about 20 ft back
    She got creeped out
    he paced outside for about an hour on a deserted street
what story were you reading? ;)
and really, when a girl/woman thinks a guy is being creepy, as the girl stated, 99% of the time she's right and he's being creepy. Body language, eye movements, invasion of space or specific distance kept, unnatural behavior all clue a person in to these things. We may not be able to bring those observations into our consciousness to articulate them, but that makes them no less valid. This is often referred to as intuition or instinct, but the process is basic info processing not a 6th sense.

Even disregarding her creep vibe, looking at the OP objectively the guy's behavior is clearly suspicious.

Really, I do appreciate your positive outlook on things, it's a good balance to have. :) Sometimes naivete just starts to become funny, like here. :)
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by fuzzman » Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:39 pm

In my experience, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck....DUCK! (pun intended)

I have to agree that going to anyone's home is increasing the danger to that person and their family, and should only be done as a last resort. A police/fire station or a crowded shopping center would be ideal, or even just singing/yelling loudly as you walk down the street to draw attention to yourself is better than holing up in an empty home without calling 911. Most people up to no good aren't looking for any attention from passersby, and if they get it, they usually about face pretty quickly.

There are lots of things that you can do to bring attention to your situation without directly confronting someone who is innocent, while at the same time making it more difficult for someone to harm you without being seen.

When personal safety is concerned, better safe than sorry. It's easier to say sorry for a misunderstanding than to turn back time after a rape or assault, or worse.

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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by Hobbes » Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:11 pm

I always wonder when I'm taking the 20 minute walk from class back to my apartment if people going the same way as me think I'm following them and want to kill them.

Apparently everyone does...
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by SMoAF » Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:40 am

Hobbes wrote:I always wonder when I'm taking the 20 minute walk from class back to my apartment if people going the same way as me think I'm following them and want to kill them.

Apparently everyone does...
Heh. I've often had the experience of walking down the street, and seeing people headed towards me cross the street as we approached each other, only to cross back after we'd passed.

If it hadn't tended to happen a couple of decades ago, I'da thunk I was a caveman in a Geico commercial.
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Re: Creepy guy follows you home

Post by MIKE_the_MILITANT » Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:33 am

I'm pretty sure that if someone I deemed as creepy was following me at 20 feet I would take off running to the closest safe place possible. 20 feet is within my danger close area, someone at that distance could sprint and tackle me in about 3 secs, I might be able to do some thing if I was ready, but chances are I couldn't, especially with my back turned.
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